While the most people watch rally racing to catch the exploits of Japanese 4WD legends such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Imprezza, I watched rallying just to see Toyota in action. Like how other petrol heads are caught by the motor sports bug by watching either a scarlet red Ferrari in F1 or the muscle cars in Nascar, I was mesmerized by the pictures and videos of the Toyota Celica ST205 with Castrol liveries, blazing into the desert safaris or jumping into the gravels of Finland. Toyota sadly left the World Rally Championship (WRC) for more than a decade. Now, Toyota has announced they are officially developing a GT86 rally car for the WRC’s production class series.
The GT86 rally car will comply with the WRC’s R3 class which allows them to compete in WRC3, formerly known as production class. As per any WRC spec car, it will be fully homologated (2,500 road cars have been built), and will be powered via the stock 2L boxer engine, a six-speed sequential gearbox, and remain using two-wheel drive. Perhaps the reason why rally fans got excited is this GT86 rally car is a rear wheel drive, unlike many rally spec cars which are mostly 4WD or front wheel drive.
The quote from Toyota’s racing factory from Germany, Toyota Motorsport GmbH, as below:
The GT86 CS-R3 promises to be a thrilling car on the rally stages; with rear-wheel drive we can expect some dramatic action which is sure to be entertaining for drivers and fans alike.
Nevertheless, we would be happy to see a tail happy GT86 attacking the tarmacs and gravel roads around the world. What I really hope is to see a proper full WRC spec GT86 rally machine with Castrol liveries to challenge the superminis that are currently ruling the WRC now.